Why Did King Charles I Resort To Personal Rule In 1629

4213 words - 17 pages

Why did King Charles I Resort to Personal Rule in 1629?

The Personal Rule came about when King Charles I dissolved parliament
in 1629. It was symbolic of a time when the King felt that any joint
governing of the country was impossible. Right from the start of
Charles' reign, relations had been poor with Parliament. But the time
leading up to the start of the Personal Rule, or the "Eleven Year
Tyranny" as it is sometimes referred, marked a low point. So for what
reasons did Charles embark on the Personal Rule, and whose fault was
it? These issues will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

The broad overall reason for the collapse of relations between
Parliament and the King is the conflict of the ancient feudal system
under the King against the system that Parliament was trying to impose
of increased parliamentary power and increasingly joint rule. The will
of Parliament for change represented a new era. Although no-one would
dare go against the established belief that the King was above
everyone else in the Kingdom, the extent to which they believed in
Royal Prerogative, the Divine Right of Kings and other such feudal
principles was becoming less clear cut. Parliament realised that the
King could make mistakes and that some Kings were a lot better than
others. Charles, on the other hand, believed in Royal Prerogative and
the Divine Right of Kings with such a reverence not seen for
centuries. With such conflicting beliefs of the two parties concerned,
it is not difficult to see why these were such troublesome times for
the Monarchy and the development of the English Constitution. This
period also marks a very important, but often overlooked, development
in the way the King was regarded by Parliament. Around the time that
the Personal Rule started, Parliament for the first time conceded that
the King could be at fault and it was not just his misguiding advisors
that were to blame.

An obvious reason why Parliament could not work with the King was
Charles' deep emotional problems. Although this is not the most
important reason, it is nevertheless an important one that cannot be
overlooked. Charles was a deeply insecure man. His insecurity had
roots in his childhood, where he was seen as the runt of the litter,
and very much outshone by his older brother Henry. Perhaps his
hard-line approach of being unwilling to compromise or negotiate was
because he lacked the emotional intelligence and confidence to reason
with people effectively. In reality, this was probably a culmination
of his strong belief in the Divine Right of Kings and his lack of
confidence. In his history of the period, the Earl of Clarendon cited
a major reason for Charles' personality problems at "not trusting
himself enough".

The King's speeches to Parliament lacked conviction, largely due to a
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